2019 Volume 6 Issue 1 Pages 2-8
Aim: The aim of the study was to investigate the health effect on and adaptation of the elderly affected by floods in the Lat Krabang District, Bangkok, Thailand in 2011.
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted. Data were collected from 290 elderly participants who were affected by the floods using questionnaires.
Results: The elderly participants had previous experience with flooding, but the massive flooding in 2011 was the most severe compared to any other experiences in the past. Physical health effects included muscle pain (35.2%), athlete’s foot (28.3%), and skin rash (23.1%). The psychological health effects (24.3%) encountered included insomnia, constant stress and tension, attention deficit, and discontentment. Most elderly (89.3%) decided not to relocate thinking they could still live at home, but they were concerned about the safety of their property. In regards to preparation for the flood, they prepared consumer goods, medication, and emergency kits. In addition, they kept abreast with news on television and public announcements in the community. They also helped clear the drainage system and prepared contact information of children, relatives, and government offices in case they needed assistance. Finally, to reduce possible damage to the property, they moved their belongings to high places, built sandbag walls, raised the house level, and prepared a water pump.
Conclusion: The 2011 Thailand floods had adverse effects on physical and psychological health of the elderly people. To ensure better management for this vulnerable group, plans to respond to possible disasters need to be devised by relevant agencies to reduce flood-related health impacts.